Hello and thanks!

Jason T. Miller jasomill at shaffstall.com
Sat May 27 00:04:37 AEST 2000

Well, I keep calling the hardware support folks, and it keeps ringing
busy. Of course, since I don't have call waiting or voice mail, that is to
be expected :) I've actually thought about trying to acquire an
MSCP<->SCSI card and using one of the SCSI drives I have lying around, but
the 19" rackmount stuff is too cool (unfortunately, my spares cabinet is
full of dirty laundry and ruined CD-R media at the moment), though I
suppose an RA92 would suffice (anybody got one? :) though my budget is
henceforth nonexistant -- $300 wouldn't break the bank, because they
wouldn't give it to me. Don't know about the RQDX3, either, but more
likely the KDA50 (which drives my RA81 -- the RQDX3 is for RXen, no more).

The '81 was up all last night, so I don't have error numbers yet; I'll try
to repeat the RX50 problem sometime this weekend. The only FS, I have, is
yours, though I've started reading through it. Though the SCSI spec is
thousands of pages long, it's pretty easy to program; I just finished some
raw-tape-read routines for Hewlett-Packard CS/80 tape drives, that was
even simpler. In both cases, however, I do have documentation
(exhaustive documentation in re: SCSI -- again, work related). I take it
from your reply that such docs aren't to be had for MSCP? At any price?

Jason T. Miller
jasomill at shaffstall.com

On Thu, 25 May 2000, Steven M. Schultz wrote:

> Hi -
> > From: "Jason T. Miller" <jasomill at shaffstall.com>
> > After about a week of work (mainly due to a dying RA81 ... see below), I
> > have successfully installed 2.11BSD on my 11/83. First and foremost,
> > thanks to a) Steven M. Shultz for so carefully maintaining and updating
> > (!) CSRG's PDP-11 code to work with hardware such as my MSCP drives and
> > TMSCP TK50 and b) everyone involved in prodding SCO to release free
> 	You're welcome!  I can't take all of the credit (or blame depending
> 	how you look at it) for the MSCP driver - that came about in 2.10
> 	just before I became heavily involved.   Changes/rewrites/whatever
> 	are my fault though ;)   The TMSCP driver for 2BSD is my doing (based
> 	on a *heavily* mauled version of the 4.3BSD one with some Ultrix
> 	influences).
> > The only problems I've been having seem to be coming from disk controllers
> > without media. More specifically, I get a hard error, followed by an
> > endless loop of error indications if I try to access one of my RX50s (on
> > an RQDX3 controller), and the only recourse is a reset. Okay, so the
> 	Hmmm, that's a new one to me.  I used to have RX50s but they were
> 	so d$&$*&^!d flakey that I put a standard "pc" 5.25" floppy on 
> 	instead (TEAC something or other).  I didn't do the hardware stuff,
> 	Terry Kennedy did that.  Details on jumper setting to use a 5.25"
> 	floppy in place of RX50s are floating around somewhere on the net
> 	but I don't have the reference handy.
> 	Can't say I've had a problem with the floppy drive with no media.
> 	It spins and eventually spits out an error but nothing bad happens
> 	to the system.
> 	Hmmmm, what rev level of 2.11BSD do you have installed?  The latest
> 	from the PUPS archive (or at least fairly recent)?   
> > solution here is simple: don't do it. The bigger problem comes with my
> > flake-job of an RA81, which, FWIW, is the only fixed disk storage I have.
> > It has a strange habit: the "A" light goes off and the controller can no
> 	Been there, seen that - on 11/44s with UDA50 controllers.  When that
> 	happened I picked up the phone and got the hardware support folks to
> 	get me a new RA81 ;)   After a while they got tired of maintaining
> 	old hardware and when the RA81 died the last time they just turned off
> 	the system and later sold it for scrap (instead of spending $300 for 
> 	a RA92 drive).  Boo hiss.
> 	RA81s have been the worst drive I've seen for failures - it should
> 	be fairly cheap to get a RA92 (8" desktop enclosure if I recall 
> 	right) to replace the RA81.  Does the RQDX3 support the larger 
> 	drives though I wonder?
> > the same loop-of-errors syndrome as an empty RX50. Anyone have any
> > pointers or sage advice? I figured I may try to modify the MSCP driver to
> > re-init the controller on a hard error, and try again. But the MSCP code
> > is fairly complicated, and I know nothing of the protocol. Anyone have any
> 	You're not just whistling Dixie there - it's the most complex 
> 	convoluted protocol I've seen for handling disks (and tapes).  Well,
> 	SCSI these days might be just as complex - but there's a difference:
> 	I can get lots better specs and documentation for SCSI than I can for 
> 	MSCP.  If you've access to other systems (RSX, IAS, etc) sources you 
> 	can RTFS (Read The Fine Source) and try to puzzle out how MSCP works 
> 	what the errors are and what to do about them but that's a far
> 	cry from a complete, detailed, tabular, whatever document on how to
> 	write a MSCP driver.
> > MSCP documentation which I could beg, borrow, or steal? I'd give the
> > specific error codes, but I haven't written any down yet and I'm at work.
> 	I know I did do some work (mostly in the TMSCP part though) to improve
> 	error handling and not leave drives stranded and the like.   If you
> 	can jot down the error codes I can take a look at the driver and
> 	perhaps see what can be done to recover more gracefully.
> 	Cheers!
> 	Steven Schultz
> 	sms at moe.2bsd.com

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